Please Come To Boston: Who Did If First?

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Song: Please Come to Boston (1974)

Artist: Dave Loggins

Album: Apprentice (In a Musical Workshop) – (Epic)

Having just wrote about Danny’s Song, by Kenny Loggins, I couldn’t help but think of another heartfelt song by his kin. If you’re a country fan, you have probably heard one or another country star sing the lyrics “I’m the number one fan of the man from Tennessee.”

The song is Please Come to Boston. No, Kenny Chesney did NOT write it. Nor was it Joan Baez or Reba McEntire. Not even Willie Nelson, David Allan Coe, Wade Bowen, or Confederate Railroad or any number of musicians who have recorded the song. It was Dave Loggins, who may be known as a “one-hit wonder” to some, but really is anything but.

The song was a big success for him in 1974, charting at No. 5. It was, in fact, Dave Loggins’ one BIG hit, but that should not diminish it. It has appeared on so many compilations, and on so many other musician’s albums, we probably couldn’t measure how much of a country classic this song has become. Although many big stars have covered the song, to me, none can really match Dave Loggins’s original version. In fact, he won a Grammy for Best Male Vocal Performance for it in 1975.

Dave Loggins recorded 4 albums from 1972 to 1977. His records got good reviews, but he didn’t have another hit of his own. However, on his first album, Personal Belongings, he recorded another quite famous song called Pieces of April. It was not a success for him, but the same year, Three Dog Night covered it, and it went to No. 19. Dave Loggins recorded another, more polished version of Pieces of April in 1979 but still saw little success with the song.

If you think this means Dave Loggins peaked with Please Come to Boston, think again. He may not be a radio fixture like his cousin Kenny, but as a songwriter, he is quite successful.

By 1981, Loggins got discouraged about trying to get a Nashville Pop hit and decided to concentrate on being a songwriter, avoiding any more recording contracts. This would have obviously been a hard decision to make, and he had no way of knowing if he would be any more successful with this new direction. But, when Alabama recorded his song Roll On, things started rolling along just fine.

In 1985, along with Anne Murray, he won a CMA for Vocal Duo of the Year for Nobody Loves Me Like You Do. In 1987 he was ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year as well as winning over 20 other ASCAP performance awards. He even wrote the theme for the Masters of Gold tournament in 1980.

Dave Loggins has written quite a few hits for country superstars both by himself and in collaboration with other songwriters like Don Schlitz and J.D. Martin, For instance, a partial listing:

Please Come to Boston, like many songs of the 1970s, ends up on lists of the best songs and lists of the worst songs. Music is subjective that way, but many folks think it is hip to despise anything that is deemed too heartfelt or “saccharin.”

Please Come to Boston is a song about a man who is trying to get his girl to join him in distant cities and she refuses, telling him those places have nothing for him. It is a song about longing and I guess it is possible that some people can’t relate to longing, but they are few and far between. Not many listeners deny an emotional connection to the song. Dave Loggins spent a lot of time traveling across the country playing music. The song was not contrived. I have no patience for contrivance. If the emotion is real, we usually recognize it. I’ll admit that there are many songs that play on emotion but that ARE contrived, and yet are big hits with critical acclaim. Walkin’ In Memphis comes to mind. Please Come to Boston was a hit for a reason. People instantly related to it.

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